Cosatu: While we campaign for ANC, we are also defending collective bargaining

The federation’s affiliates are unhappy with the government following its reneging on the public sector wage deal last year with some of its biggest unions also having refused to be party to this year’s deal which it said was an attack on collective bargaining.

FILE: Cosatu President Zingiswa Losi. Picture: Abigail Javier/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday said that while it was campaigning for the African National Congress (ANC) during the local government elections, it was also having a parallel campaign to defend collective bargaining.

The federation’s affiliates are unhappy with the government following its reneging on the public sector wage deal last year, with some of its biggest unions also having refused to be party to this year’s deal which it said was an attack on collective bargaining.

In its report to the central committee meeting, Cosatu warned of a “real possibility” that workers in the public service and public sector, in general, would be on strike against wage freezes and retrenchments.

It stated that it would not “compromise” on this campaign as it encouraged unions to mobilise and fight back against retrenchments and job losses.

Millions of workers have lost their jobs due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the series of government-enforced restrictions that led to the closure of many businesses.

However, Cosatu said that it would still participate in the ANC’s election campaign and mobilise its members to vote for the party.

On Monday, Cosatu president, Zingiswa Losi, said that the federation would back the ANC during the elections, saying the idea that exploitation of workers would end if the ANC was voted out of power was a fallacy.

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